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Faves of 2011: The Random

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Nomes of Inkcrush is hosting The Faves of 2011 Awards. This time the topic being: Random Stuff.

1. Fave first sentence
The Book Thief by Marcus Zusak

First the colors
Then the humans
That's usually how I see things
Or at least, how I try.


2. Fave book title
The Eyre Affair by Jasper Fforde.
It rhymes. :D The Year of Secret Assignments by Jaclyn Moriarty. Secret assignments sound very intriguing.

3. Fave reading experience (ie: created a great reading memory)
The Book Thief by Marcus Zusak.
I will always remember The Book Thief because it made me realize how very very lucky I am to be born in this time and have the family that I have.

4. Book with the most sensual weather (made you shiver/sweat)
Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson.
This one's definitely on the shiver side because it was snowing in Sweden that and also the thought of having a murderer on the loose. So it's pretty chilling (excuse the pun).

5. Can’t believe you waited this long to read the book (!)

Faves of 2011: The Characters

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Nomes of Inkcrush is hosting The Faves of 2011 Book Awards. This is my post for the second day topic: The Characters.

1. Favourite female main characters I have to pick Liesel Meminger from The Book Thief because she is tough and brave, being able to survive in the kind of environment she was in, that and her love for her family and friends. Ella from Ella Enchanted by Gail Carson Levine because she took matters into her own hands and did not let her curse enslave her. And Viola from The New World by Patrick Ness because I can see a bit of myself in her. 
2. Favourite male main character Vernon Godlittle from Vernon Godlittle by D.B.C. Pierre. He is a bit of a foul mouthed, crazy kid but what he says most of the time makes sense
3. Best couple Ellie and Lucas from Fairytale Fail by Mina Esguerra because these two are kilig-inducing and Ella and Charmont from Ella the Enchanted by Gail Carson Levine because I loved the development from friendship to a romantic relationship.
4. Who I so want…

Faves of 2011: The Books

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After seeing Chachic of Chachic's Book Nook and Tina of One More Page participate in Nomes of Inkcrush's The Faves of 2011 Book Awards, I thought I will be a copycat and join them as well.

1. Favourite book read in 2011 I can't pick just one so I'll have to go with The Book Thief by Marcus Zusak, and Saving Francesca by Melina Marchetta.
2. Most powerful book The Book Thief by Marcus Zusak. This book made me realize the weight of words, how it can change the way we think and act, how it can start a revolution, and give and end lives. 
3. Brilliantly funny The Year of Secret Assignments by Jaclyn Moriarty had me smiling the whole time, and Dramacon by Svetlana Chamkova which is HaHa funny.
4. Best ache-y, heart-breaking, tear-jerker read Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro because I couldn't believe that that was their purpose in life and I was so rooting for Kath and Tommy wishing that they could at least have had a much more longer time together. And The Book Thief by Marcu…

The Series Wishlist

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The year is almost at its end and I can't help but think of the number of series that I have left hanging for several reasons like lack of funds and an existing big TBR pile. So I thought I'll make my Christmas bookish wishlist this year to contain nothing but the other book/s of all the series that I want to complete.
1. The Ask and the Answer by Patrick Ness
2. Fire by Kristin Cashore
3. Lirael by Garth Nix
4. Lost in a Good Book by Jasper Fforde
5. Queen of Attolia by Megan Whalen Turner
6. The Mysterious Benedict Society (book 1 or 3) by Trenton Lee Stewart - I got the 2nd installment first without knowing that it was part of a series.
7. Love, Stargirl by Jerry Spinelli
8. Trese Book 3: Mass Murders by Budjette Tan and Kajo Baldisimo


I sort of freaked out after seeing that I have 7 series left hanging. That's a lot. 
Now, it is highly unlikely for me to get any of the books listed here because my family just refuses to gift me with books saying that I already have too many. I f…

The Thief by Megan Whalen Turner

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Summary from Goodreads: I can steal anything." After Gen's bragging lands him in the king's prison, the chances of escape look slim. Then the king's scholar, the magus, needs the thief's skill for a seemingly impossible task -- to steal a hidden treasure from another land. To the magus, Gen is just a tool. But Gen is a trickster and a survivor with a plan of his own.
This book is different. It's a more quiet kind of fantasy read, less swashbuckling, more dialogue and story-telling. There is no romantic angle and none of the big bang magic fantasy stuff. So I get why people might find the story too sleepy and slow. But despite that, it still sustained my interest for various reasons. One, because of the dynamic characters. Gen, the thief starts off as a witty, bragging, whiny, thief. The Magus seems like a know-it-all who looks down on people. Pol as a tough, trusty guard with little emotions to show. But as the story progresses, Turner was able to reveal little by …

The Lost Hero by Rick Riordan

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Summary from Goodreads:


Jason has a problem. He doesn’t remember anything before waking up in a bus full of kids on a field trip. Apparently he has a girlfriend named Piper and a best friend named Leo. They’re all students at a boarding school for “bad kids.” What did Jason do to end up here? And where is here, exactly? 
Piper has a secret. Her father has been missing for three days, ever since she had that terrifying nightmare. Piper doesn’t understand her dream, or why her boyfriend suddenly doesn’t recognize her. When a freak storm hits, unleashing strange creatures and whisking her, Jason, and Leo away to someplace called Camp Half-Blood, she has a feeling she’s going to find out. 
Leo has a way with tools. When he sees his cabin at Camp Half-Blood, filled with power tools and machine parts, he feels right at home. But there’s weird stuff, too—like the curse everyone keeps talking about. Weirdest of all, his bunkmates insist that each of them—including Leo—is related to a god

I like t…

Want Books: Anya's Ghost by Vera Brogsol

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Want Books? is a weekly meme hosted by Chachic’s Book Nook and features released books that you want but you can’t have for some reason. It can be because it’s not available in your country, in your library or you don’t have the money for it right now.

Summary from Goodreads:
Anya could really use a friend. But her new BFF isn’t kidding about the “Forever” part . . .
Of all the things Anya expected to find at the bottom of an old well, a new friend was not one of them. Especially not a new friend who’s been dead for a century.
Falling down a well is bad enough, but Anya’s normal life might actually be worse. She’s embarrassed by her family, self-conscious about her body, and she’s pretty much given up on fitting in at school. A new friend—even a ghost—is just what she needs.
Or so she thinks.
Spooky, sardonic, and secretly sincere, Anya’s Ghost is a wonderfully entertaining debut from author/artist Vera Brosgol.

I am quite taken by the cover of this graphic novel, so I got curious about it.…

Trese: Murder at Balete Drive by Budjette Tan, Art by Kajo Baldisimo

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Summary from Tresekomix:
When the sun sets in the city of Manila, don't you dare make a wrong turn and end up in that dimly-lit side of the metro, where aswang run the most-wanted kidnapping rings, where kapre are the kingpins of crime, and engkantos slip through the cracks and steal your most precious possessions.
When the crime takes a trun for the weird, the police call Alexandra Trese.
Trese: Murder On Balete Drive contains the following:  Case 1: At the Intersection of Balete and 13th Street  Case 2: Rules of the Race  Case 3: The Tragic Case of Dr. Burgos  Case 4: Our Secret Constellation

I have always espressed my love for mythology. Particularly Greek, Norse, and Roman. I never really gave considerable thought as to how rich our local mythology is. Now, as I read through Trese, I remember all those stories from our house help about mananaggals and aswangs taking the form of humans in their town's "pabayle" (dance). Then there's the tobacco smoking kapre up in the…

Saving Francesca by Melina Marchetta

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Summary from Goodreads:

Francesca is stuck at St. Sebastians, a boys' school that's pretends it's coed by giving the girls their own bathroom. Her only female companions are an ultra-feminist, a rumored slut, and an an impossibly dorky accordion player. The boys are no better, from Thomas who specializes in musical burping to Will, the perpetually frowning, smug moron that Francesca can't seem to stop thinking about.

Then there's Francesca's mother, who always thinks she knows what's best for Francesca—until she is suddenly stricken with acute depression, leaving Francesca lost, along, and without an inkling who she really is. Simultaneously humorous, poignant, and impossible to put down, this is the story of a girl who must summon the strength to save her family, her social life and—hardest of all—herself
What I love about this book is that even though it tackles a serious topic like depression, it has enough funny and light moments in the story to not mak…

Aussie Books and a Bookish Shirt

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I have gotten myself two Aussie books:
1. Saving Francesca by Melina Marcehtta - I have heard nothing but good things about Melina Marchetta from bloggers whose recommendations I trust and who has the same taste in books so I'm pretty excited about this one.
2. Feeling Sorry for Celia by Jaclyn Moriarty - I read one of her books A Year of Secret Assignments (see my review here) and I enjoyed it, which prompted me to get another title from her Ashbury/Brookfield books.
Whenever I recommend a book to my sister in which its movie adaptation she has already seen she would say: "Nah. I have already seen the movie version of that book." when I tell her the book is different from the movie in the sense that it's always better. She would just shrug and say: "How different could it be?" And I say it's waaaay different! It's better! I'll be all huffing and puffing...so to save me the trouble, she got me this shirt as a gift. I'll just wear this shirt and…

Crown Duel by Sherwood Smith

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I took note of Crown Duel by Sharwood Smith from Chachic of Chachic's Book Nook. Seeing that she loves fantasy as much as I do, I couldn't pass this one up. 
Synopsis from Wikipedia:
Young Countess Meliara swears to her dying father that she and her brother will defend their people from the growing greed of the king. That promise leads them into a war for which they are ill-prepared, which threatens the very people they are trying to protect. But war is simple compared to what follows, in peacetime. Meliara is summoned to live at the royal palace, where friends and enemies look alike, and intrigue fills the dance halls and the drawing rooms. If she is to survive, Meliara must learn a whole new way of fighting-with wits and words and secret alliances.
In war, at least, she knew in whom she could trust. Now she can trust no one.

Meliara is unlike any other female character that I've come across.  She is not much of a swordsman or a skillful fighter (think Katsa of Graceling), or…

The Year of Secret Assignments by Jaclyn Moriarty

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I decided to take a break from fairy tales and fantasies by having a contemporary young adult read this time. My sister and I were discussing about how back in the days we used to write to pen pals from other countries. We were talking about how exciting it was to write and receive these letters. We attach/receive stickers, pictures, postcards and other items small enough to fit on an envelope. None of my pen pals lasted but my sister got lucky. She started corresponding with her pen friend back in high school and now the latter has kids and all but still the two continues to keep in touch. I find it really sweet and I am envious. Anyhow, because of that I decided to choose Secret Assignments from my TBR as my next read because the book is about just that, pen pals and letter writing.

Summary from Goodreads:
Told entirely through letters, diary entries, emails, and other writing, Moriarty's novel introduces us to Emily, Lydia, and Cassie -- all students at Ashbury High -- who begin …

Know Me Better

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"Know Me Better" is a meme hosted by Kathy at I Am A Reader, Not A Writer. Each week she will pick 5 questions off her author interview list and invites bloggers and readers to answer them. You can add your link or find a list of the  participants here. If not, It would be great if you could share your answers in the comments section. 

If you could meet one person who has died who would you choose?
Hmm...Probably Roald Dahl. He seemed like such an interesting person.
Chocolate or Vanilla?
Chocolate. Preferably in liquid form, piping hot. Or the dark variety...with almonds. :)

What do you do in your free time?
Read! Mostly books and blogs. Or have a Big Bang Theory, Modern Family, or some Hanna Barbera or Looney Tunes cartoon viewing marathon.

What movie are you looking forward to this year?
Actually there's two, Hugo and The Adventures of TinTin:Secret of the Unicorn.

Spontaneity or Planning Ahead?
Planning Ahead for sure. I can't stand being unprepared. I'm a bit OC …

The Eyre Affair by Jasper Ffrode

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In books and movies, I have always come across how paintings contain a whole new world inside. It's just a matter of hopping in and out of the frames. But with Jasper Fforde's The Eyre Affair, you can actually go inside a literary work via an invention involving bookworms (the larvae not the people). For book geeks, this would be the best thing since, well books. 

Summary from Goodreads:
Welcome to a surreal version of Great Britain, circa 1985, where time travel is routine, cloning is a reality, (dodos are the resurrected pet of choice), and literature is taken very, very seriously. England is a virtual police state where an aunt can get lost (literally) in a Wordsworth poem, militant Baconians heckle performances of Hamlet, and forging Byronic verse is a punishable offense. All this is business as usual for Thursday Next, renowned Special Operative in literary detection, until someone begins kidnapping characters from works of literature. When Jane Eyre is plucked from the pag…

In My Mailbox: 39 Clues-The Medusa Plot

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Look at what I won from the ReaderCon Raffle!
I  haven't read a single 39 Clues Book, but I have heard a lot of buzz about it. And I found out that this book, the Medusa Plot is actually Book 1 of Series 2: Cahills vs Vespers and not part of Series 1 which spans from Book 1 to 11.
From the summary on the book, there's kidnapping, stealing, and a whole lot of mystery and adventure. I'm intrigued as well about the Cahill branches: Lucian, Ekaterina, Tomas, and Madrigals. It reminds me of the 4 houses of Hogwarts.
This looks like one of those addicting series that will get me hooked.
Thanks to the raffle sponsors of the Filipino ReaderCon! And to Celina! :)

Unfinished Business with Books

This year, I have had about three books that I did not finish and it's making me feel a bit guilty. My guilt stems from the fact that I have had books that I almost gave up on but glad I didn't because if I did I could have missed out on such a great piece of literature and the great reading experience it could have provided.

Here are some books that I've picked up which went through the said initial phase of disinterest but I still went on reading them and I'm glad I did: 
1. LOTR trilogy by J.R.R. Tolkien - I have read this a long time ago so I am not quite sure as to which part of the trilogy I had a tough time getting through. Probably the second one. I remember wanting to give up when I was on the part telling about about the geography of Middle Earth, describing the locations and landscapes and such. Boy, am glad I didn't gave up on this one. I could have missed out on a great trilogy! 
2. Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norell by Susanna Clarke - The first few pages …

Ella Enchanted by Gail Carson Levine

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Growing up, I was more of a Looney Tunes-Hanna Barbera kind of kid. I did adore the Disney Princess but to a lesser extent. I remember a cousin of mine who used to be obsessed with Cinderella when she was little and such an obsession is currently shared by my brother-in-law's niece. I must say, among the Disney Princesses, Cinderella isn't really on top of my list. The story is interesting enough, the quintessential fairytale, it's the characters that I am not quite fond of. But with Gail Carson Levine's retelling, Ella proves to me as the best "Cinderella" I have read/heard of so far.

Summary from Goodreads:
How can a fairy's blessing be such a curse? At her birth, Ella of Frell was given a foolish fairy's gift—the "gift" of obedience. Ella must obey any order given to her, whether it's hopping on one foot for a day or chopping off her own head! But strong-willed Ella does not tamely accept her fate. She goes on a quest, encountering ogres,…

The Giver by Lois Lowry

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I first fell in love with dystopian literature through The Hunger Games. Although a contradiction in terms, I find dystopian literature comforting. Perhaps the comfort stems from the fact that I am safely sitting in my chair away from the destruction and danger contained in most of the books under the said genre. It seems odd that it is only just recently that I've heard of The Giver, when in fact it's one of the firsts among dystopian literature. But better late than never.
Summary from Goodreads:

Jonas's world is perfect. Everything is under control. There is no war or fear or pain. There are no choices. Every person is assigned a role in the Community. When Jonas turns twelve, he is singled out to receive special training from The Giver. The Giver alone holds the memories of the true pain and pleasure of life. Now, it is time for Jonas to receive the truth. There is no turning back
This dystopian book is quite different from the others of the same genre that I've read …

The Stinky Cheese Man and other Fairly Stupid Fairytales by Jon Scieszka and Lane Smith

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My first Jon Scisezka and Lane Smith experience came in the form of The Time Warp Trio book 13. I had fun reading that book and also very much enjoyed the illustrations. The Stinky Cheese Man, true to the form of both Sciezka and Lane, has humor, wit, and amazing illustrations.
From Wikipedia:
The Stinky Cheese Man and Fairly Stupid Tales is a postmodern children's book by Jon Scieszka. Published in 1992 by Viking, it is a collection of twisted, humorous parodies of famous children's stories and fairy tales, such as "Little Red Riding Hood", "The Ugly Duckling" and "The Gingerbread Man". Illustrated in a unique style by Lane Smith, the book won the New York Times Best Illustrated Book award, was a Caldecott Honor book, and has won numerous other awards in various countries. The book has proved to be popular with children and adults, as its lighthearted approach creates interest while educating young readers about some of the features of books (such …